In the present study, we have used a simple and cost-effective removal technique by a commercially available Fe-Al-SiO2 containing complex material (hardened paste of Portland cement (HPPC)). The adsorbing performance of HPPC and modified HPPC with perlite for removal of cefixime from aqueous solutions was investigated comparatively by using batch adsorption studies. HPPC has been selected because of the main advantages such as high efficiency, simple separation of sludge, low-cost and abundant availability. A Taguchi orthogonal array experimental design with an OA16 (45) matrix was employed to optimize the affecting factors of adsorbate concentration, adsorbent dosage, type of adsorbent, contact time and pH. On the basis of equilibrium adsorption data, Langmuir, Freundlich and Temkin adsorption isotherm models were also confirmed. The results showed that HPPC and modified HPPC were both efficient adsorbents for cefixime removal.